On their bike to help brain treatment bid

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Lauren Rigby, a ‘bikeathon’ participant, and Chris McGregor. Pic © Matty Davies JMU Journalism

Men and women from Speke have taken part in a charity bike ride to raise money for their friend, who is in need of alternative brain tumour treatment in Germany.

The DW Gym in Hunts Cross was the setting as volunteers got in the saddle as part a fundraising effort for Chris McGregor, on his birthday on Saturday.

Chris was diagnosed with a grade II astrocytoma brain tumour in December 2013 before undergoing surgery the following March, reducing the size of the growth by 90%. But in the summer of 2016, doctors broke the devastating news to Chris and his family that the tumour had started to grow again.

As further surgery is unavailable in the UK, the 35-year-old aims to gather enough money to fly to Germany for treatment that is unavailable on British shores.

Lauren Rigby, Chris’ partner, told JMU Journalism: “We need to raise £60,000 for Chris’ treatment. It won’t cure him but it will buy him years.

“The bike ride is the fourth or fifth fundraiser event that we have held over the last 12 months. Chris used to be in the gym every day before his diagnosis, so it’s a place that’s close to his heart.”

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Mr McGregor was only correctly diagnosed after forgetting his wife’s name whilst on the phone to her. Up until this point, doctors had adjudged his symptoms to be those of a viral infection or a migraine to be treated with paracetamol and regular cold and flu tablets.

Chris Mcgregor with BrotherBeats at DW Gym. Pic © Matty Davies JMU Journalism.

The participants cycled over a combined 1,700 miles in total – the distance from Liverpool to eastern Germany and back – in just eight hours, with BrotherBeats, a local DJ group, performing a live set from the gym during the event.

The father of one is due to start another bout of chemotherapy next month, with his family already considering what other fundraising events can be held in the future.

In the aftermath of the event, Ms Rigby praised participants, saying “Thank you so much to everyone involved in the ‘bikeathon’ for Chris yesterday. It was a brilliant day and everyone should feel so proud of themselves for reaching 40 miles [each] in such a short space of time.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist with the fundraising process, called ‘Chris’s Journey’. Donations can be made here.

About Matthew Davies, JMU Journalism